Community comes together for breast cancer march

POSTED: 10/3/11 8:15 PM

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams (2nd left) and Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Cornelius de Weever join marchers in the march up Front Street during Saturday’s 2nd Annual Pink Parade. (Milton Pieters photo)

St. Maarten – Women, girls were joined by a smattering of men and boys Saturday for the second annual Pink Parade, which is meant to raise awareness of the disease. The parade was jointly organized by the Positive Foundation, which is led by Shelly Alphonso, and Mercedes “Elektra” Wyatt, who launched the Elekralytes Foundation on Saturday as a platform for women’s issues by turning on a pink neon light.

Saturday’s march began at the John Larmonie Center and ended at Holland House Beach Hotel. The walkers were led by the Generation New Status Band and a woman who wore a huge pink bow, a rubber replica of a breast with tiny pink ribbons tucked on the nipples and wings covered in pink ribbons. The wings were a symbol of those who lost the battle to breast cancer.

“I was truly moved by the costume worn by the queen of the band, her costume demonstrated exactly what this parade was all about. It is about breast cancer awareness, but it’s also about supporting the people who are currently going through breast cancer treatment,” Alphonso said.

Other visible signs of support were pink ribbons, balloons, hats, jerseys and t-shirts and a banner. There was also a moment of silence for the women who died because they’d contracted breast cancer.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams stressed the need for women to have regular mammograms by stating the oft repeated line, “Early detection is the best prevention.”

“Breast cancer knows no age, no class, no color and no creed and I know that the organizers, that are standing here behind me, and the sponsors are grateful for the huge turnout while recognizing why we are doing this,” the prime minister said.

She also called for people never to forget women who’d died of breast cancer and to continue building awareness after the month long commemoration is over.

Lighting Ceremony

The month long commemoration will continue today with a lighting ceremony at N.V. GEBE, which has agreed to string pink lights on its building during the month of October. Today’s lighting at the main office on W.J.A. Nisbeth Road begins at 6:30 p.m. with speeches.

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